Luxury experiences in Nikko

Nikko is a luxurious destination just two hours from Tokyo, where you can enjoy the natural beauty of Nikko National Park, UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as Nikko Toshogu Shrine, and a rich culture of craft. The Oku-Nikko area in particular, has been a summer resort for European aristocrats since the nineteenth century.


A taste of VIP living

Nikko’s cool summers have long drawn Tokyo’s elite residents to the area, and some of their luxurious former accommodations are open to visit. At Nikko Tamozawa Imperial Villa Memorial Park, you can see the villas used by the imperial family and their retinue in the nineteenth century.
The former villa of the Italian ambassador was built in 1928, using local materials such as Nikko cedar. The Italian Embassy House Memorial Park is open to visitors each year between April and November. A cafe on the first floor serves refreshments with a view of the lake. A few minutes away is the British Embassy Villa Memorial Park, also open to visitors between April and November. A private villa was built in 1896 for a British diplomat and later renovated as a retreat for embassy staff. The British tea room serves authentic English tea and scones, supervised by the chef of the British Embassy in Tokyo.


Luxury hot spring escapes

Luxury hotels and inns next to Lake Chuzenji cater to discerning travelers with private onsen baths, spas, gourmet cuisine, and tailored tours and experiences. Take a relaxing cruise on the Lake Chuzenji Sightseeing Boat, which operates between April and November. Enjoy seasonal scenery on a variety of different courses, most lasting around an hour.
Kinugawa Onsen has been a celebrated hot spring retreat since it was discovered in the Edo period. Luxury hot spring hotels, many imbued with retro charm, line the Kinugawa River. Some hotels and traditional inns in the area have private hot spring baths in the guest rooms, and many have relaxing views of the surrounding mountains. Enjoy beautifully presented traditional kaiseki meals of local produce.


Experience traditional crafts and sake

Explore World Heritage Nikko Toshogu Shrine on a private tour to explore this masterpiece of heritage craft, and learn the stories and legends of the resting place of Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543–1616). After a tour by a priest or priestess, you have the opportunity to receive a special prayer service in the Shogun’s Seated Room, which is normal off-limits to the public. Tours are in Japanese only, so you may need to be accompanied by a translator.
After touring the masterful carvings at Nikko Toshugu Shrine, you may be inspired to try the Nikkobori woodcarving tradition that originated with the famous craftsmen who renovated the shrine in the seventeenth century. At mekke Nikko Kyodo Center, you can try traditional crafts including Nikkobori carving, and deerskin stamping.
Sample Nikko’s renowned sake at traditional breweries in Imaichi. Using local rice, high-quality water, and yeast, they produce fine brews such as Nikko Homare, a popular ginjo sake. Brewery tours and tastings are available at Katayama Shuzo and Watanabe Sahei Shoten.

Areas of Nikko